Office of Emergency Response Newsletter - December 2015

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Office of Emergency Response Newsletter-December 2015


All Staff Workshop Complete

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The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Emergency Response completed its annual all staff workshop this past November, providing 19 Professional Responders and Response Assistants with their required eight-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) HAZWOPER update. Responders came from the different DEP district field offices for the weeklong training and overview workshop. Speakers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Florida Department of Health also attended.


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Clean Gulf

More than 2,000 people attended the CLEAN GULF Annual Conference and Exhibition from Nov. 11-13 in New Orleans. The conference focused on inland preparedness and response, as well as keeping key professionals and decision-makers from across the Gulf Coast and beyond engaged with one another. Attendees were able to discuss viable solutions to safely produce and transport petroleum products and effectively respond when a spill occurs. In addition to the conference sessions, the exhibit floor featured 180 companies ready to help attending organizations find new response solutions and technologies.

The Office of Emergency Response presented the State of Florida Emergency Response overview during the conference, while Responder Bruce McNutt represented DEP with a booth on the convention floor.

The 2016 CLEAN GULF Conference will be held Nov. 1-3 in Tampa.

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Upcoming Training

  • G-300 (Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents) and G-400 (Advanced Incident Command System Command and General Staff: Complex Incidents) will be offered across the state in the various districts throughout the next quarter. Find more information here.
  • Asbestos Inspector Training will be offered from Jan. 25-Jan. 27 at the University of Florida’s TREEO Center. Find more information here.
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Close of Hurricane Season

As of Nov. 31, the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season has officially ended. The 2016 hurricane season will begin June 1, 2016.

This year the Atlantic had 10 named storms. To see next year’s list of names for potential tropical storm threats go here.

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Potential Threats from Now until Spring

Staying cozy and warm this winter is a top priority, however, don’t forget about these winter safety tips for your home:

Heating the Home

At the beginning of each winter season, have your chimney inspected and cleaned before using it. Buildup in the chimney can cause a fire if it is not properly cleaned.

Never use flammable liquids, cardboard, trash or debris in a fireplace. These materials can cause intense flames, which can start chimney fires or send sparks into the room. They also may cause toxic smoke.

Use a fireplace screen to contain sparks and embers.

Make sure all heaters are in safe working condition. Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could catch fire — i.e., paper, clothing and furniture. Do not use heaters to dry clothing.

Small children and pets should not be left alone with heaters. Always turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.

Cooking and Kitchen Safety

gas stove flames and burner

Cooking fires are the most common type of household fires. By paying attention while cooking, you can prevent a kitchen fire.

If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, stay in the kitchen. Turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen, even if only for a short time.

If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, you don't have to stay in the kitchen, but you do need to stay in the home. Check the food regularly, and use a timer to remind you that something is cooking.

Keep flammable objects — potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and paper or plastic bags — away from the stovetop. Wear tight-fitting clothes that won't drape over or touch burners while you are cooking.

General Precautions

Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home, including near sleeping areas.

Keep fire extinguishers in the kitchen, laundry room and garage. An extinguisher with an ABC rating can fight fires caused by paper, wood, cloth, flammable liquids and electrical short circuits.

Make a family plan for fire emergencies, and practice your escape plan.

Use your common sense. Identify potential danger spots in your home and take the proper precautions.

For more information go here.